Ubud - the cultural heart of Bali

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May 12th 2015
Published: July 14th 2015
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Pemuteran to UbudPemuteran to UbudPemuteran to Ubud

The drive was mountainous but beautiful.
We had to head off from Pemuteran quite early to get to Ubud at a reasonable hour. With just one night in Ubud we wanted to make our time count. We stopped at Adi Asiri Restaurant on Jalan Raya Sanggingan in Ubud for a light lunch. We had the Chicken Satay and Cap Coy (stir fry beef and veges) with cans of drink for $36AU (36,000 IDR).

Before we had even arrived in Ubud we drove through some local “Pasar Seni” (Art Markets) which we made note of, just in case the shopping in Ubud wasn’t as we expected. It was lucky we did because we returned to Ubud a week later and absolutely loved these markets (will write more in the articles following).

We arrived at Dupa Ubud Villa, set amongst the rice fields just 5 minutes from Ubud Central. The property owners rent only one villa at a time (unless family/friends request both villas) so we thoroughly enjoyed the peace and quiet. There is also a great local restaurant called Bintang within walking distance, however we asked the owner’s for a scooter (just $5AU for
Dupa Ubud VillaDupa Ubud VillaDupa Ubud Villa

Set amongst the rice fields just 5 minutes from Ubud Central
the night) and headed into Ubud ourselves.

I had kitted out my wallet with small notes, prepared for a solid night of bargaining at the Pasar Umum Ubud (Ubud Markets) only to discover it was a Ceremonial Night in Bali. All the locals were bedecked in white and yellow for a festival of some kind and unfortunately the night markets were closed. Nevertheless, it gave us time to relax and enjoy the local delicacies. Both duck (bebek) and Suckling Pig (babi guling) are renowned dishes in Ubud. We chose Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner) for dinner – Matt opting for the Garlic Prawns with Sambal Matah and the half duck for myself. Majority of the shops were still open along the main strip in Ubud but we weren’t looking for retail shopping. So many people had spoken about the glorious arts and crafts, yet we were yet to enter a single shop we found unique and interesting. We stocked up on snacks and beer at the local Coco Mart before heading back to the Villa. We were about half way home when the heavens opened, but when it is so hot in Bali the rain actually felt quite nice. Nothing like the torrential downpours we are used to in summer in Brisbane.

We were up early on our second (and last) day in Ubud to go to a 9am cooking class, but not before we were treated to a delicious home-cooked breakfast by our host family. Dressed ready for temple it was so lovely seeing the family all working together in our little kitchen. I would recommend Dupa Ubud Villa to anyone in a heartbeat!

Our cooking class was at Bumbu Bali (not to be confused with the famed Nusa Dua chain) for just $30AU per person (30,000 IDR) for a 4 hour cooling class including market visit (Website Link). Putu kicked off our lesson by showing us the different Balinese vegetables, fruit and spices at the local Pasar Umum Ubud (Ubud Markets). For those who are having trouble finding it (surprisingly we had trouble finding it the first night) it is on the corner of Jalan Raya Ubud and Jalan Wenara Wana, spanning to the corner of Jalan Karna. Ubud Markets is a great place to pick up super
Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner)Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner)Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner)

Garlic Prawns with Sambal Matah and Half Duck
cheap spices - 100g of Saffron threads for $5 and 250g Vanilla Bean pods for $5. Back home I would be paying double that for a tenth the size (for those wondering, I declared everything and got it through customs no problems). It was interesting to see the Meat Market already finished for the day, purely because it’s too hot to be open after 9am! It was here in Ubud market I finally felt immersed by the colours, sounds and smells I had expected of Bali. I found it quite funny the Englishman we did the cooking class with ‘warned’ us against the smells and chaos of the morning market. When I got there I couldn’t help but think “this is Bali, this is what we’re here to see!”

We strolled back to the restaurant (just a few minutes away) and donned our aprons. Our first recipe was the Balinese spice paste called Base Gede from 16 ingredients. It was used in most of our other recipes, which included Sayur Urab (Balinese Veges with Spices), Opor Ayam (Coconut Chicken Curry), Bali Sate Lilit (Balinese Satay sticks - not from peanuts), Sambal Goreng Udang
Pasar Umum Ubud (Ubud Markets)Pasar Umum Ubud (Ubud Markets)Pasar Umum Ubud (Ubud Markets)

Colourful mosaic mirrors and crafts
(Spicy Prawns) and Pisang Goreng (Fried Banana). We were also treated to a Rice Wine based cocktail which was delicious, bottled water and our very own take home recipe book with around 20 recipes. Matt was very excited to see Sambal Matah which he developed a love for at Bebek Bengil the night before!

I stopped for some cash at a Commonwealth ATM on Jalan Raya Andong before heading east to Candi Dasa. It was almost torturous having to leave Ubud after just one night but we decided there and then that we would definitely be back!

Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12


Ubud MarketsUbud Markets
Ubud Markets

Preparing daily ceremonial offerings
Ubud MarketsUbud Markets
Ubud Markets

Fresh vegetables galore!
Ubud MarketsUbud Markets
Ubud Markets

The Meat Market already finished for the day, purely because it’s too hot to be open after 9am
Bumbu Bali UbudBumbu Bali Ubud
Bumbu Bali Ubud

GREAT cooking class with Putu
Bali Sate Lilit Bali Sate Lilit
Bali Sate Lilit

Learning to cook at Bumbu Bali, Ubud
Sayur UrabSayur Urab
Sayur Urab

Learning to cook at Bumbu Bali, Ubud
Ceremonial ParadeCeremonial Parade
Ceremonial Parade

Locals walking Jalan Raya Ubud

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